DiamondJacks Casino & Hotel Closes Forever Due to COVID-19

  • The riverboat casino cited “business circumstances” as being the reason for the closure
  • Louisiana casinos closed for two months following Governor Edwards’ emergency order
  • There is no indication as to how many people will lose their jobs as a result of the closure
  • Casinos in Louisiana can now start reopening once they meet certain safety standards
"Permanent closure due to COVID-19"
DiamondJacks Casino & Hotel in Lousiana will not be reopening due to market conditions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Unforeseeable market conditions

Despite casinos in Louisiana being given the green light to reopen from Monday, the DiamondJacks Casino & Hotel in Bossier City will not be reopening.

It was on Friday that DiamondJacks announced it would remain permanently closed as a result of “business circumstances” resulting from the pandemic. All of the casinos in the state were closed for about two months following an emergency order issued by Governor John Bel Edwards. 

In a statement, Diana Thornton, vice president of finance at DiamondJacks, spoke about coming to this difficult decision to close the riverboat casino. Speaking about the casino’s time in business, she said:

We have worked diligently to be a valued member of the Shreveport-Bossier City business community.”

Impact of the pandemic on casinos

There is no indication as to how many employees will be out of work as a result of this decision. However, each worker has been notified and can now file for unemployment benefits. 

The owner of DiamondJacks is Peninsula Pacific Entertainment, which also owns 50% of Iowa’s Hard Rock Sioux City Casino and 100% of upstate New York’s del Lago Resort & Casino. The property will be maintained while it remains closed. There is no indication of any plans for a new investor or owner to come on board and open the facility once more.

While many states are now starting to allow casinos to reopen while meeting certain safety standards, some of these casinos will not be able to open again due to the damage caused during the pandemic. Nevada’s Lakeside Inn announced last month that it would not be reopening after the state’s emergency order was eased. 

Louisiana’s casino reopening protocols

Casinos reopening in Louisiana as part of its phase one recovery plan will only be able to have 25% occupancy for some time. Only half of the table game and slot machine seats will be open, and all patrons must adhere to social distancing standards.

only 55 of the nation’s 989 commercial and tribal casinos are now open

The Louisiana Gaming Control Board (LGCB) must approve each casino before it can reopen. As per the American Gaming Association (AGA) figures released on Sunday, only 55 of the nation’s 989 commercial and tribal casinos are now open.

Struggling for some time

DiamondJacks was one of six different riverboat casinos operating in the Shreveport-Bossier City area. It was significantly smaller than other facilities in terms of visitor numbers and revenue figures. 

Of the 14 riverboat casinos operating in Louisiana, DiamondJacks was second-lowest in terms of gross revenue and third-lowest in terms of visitor numbers.

A study conducted last year by the Spectrum Gaming Group made a recommendation to state authorities that DiamondJacks should be moved to another area. This was due to increasing competition from tribal casinos in Oklahoma and the northeast corner of the state and the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain both not having much of a gaming presence.